Sotheby's: Prints & Multiples New York - Auction Analysis

May 5, 2015

The month  started off quite fiercely with Sotheby's New York: Prints and Multiples auction held on the 1st and 2nd of May. The numbers of the auction analysis show a very, with the emphasis on very, successful auction. Out of 206 contemporary art lots put on sale, a great number of 187 lots were sold, making that a staggering 90.8 percent of sold artworks. Thirty-three percent of lots were sold over the high estimate price, or 63 artworks, as opposed to 49 artworks sold under the low estimate making that a 26.2 percent of lots. In the estimate value range, 75 artworks changed its owners, or 40.1 percent. The auction analysis showed that the results were under the estimate spread of 31.5 percent. These 187 lots were sold for total of $4996300 which is around a million dollars more than the sum of low estimates (26.8 percent) and around $800000 less than the high estimate sum (-13.1 percent). Maximum hammer price was achieved with the sale of Andy Warhol's Ten Portraits of Jews of The Twentieth Century with $160000 and the average hammer price of sold lots was $26718. Median hammer and average hammer difference, with median hammer at $15000, was -43.9 percent.

The Best Individual Results at Sotheby's New York: Prints and Multiples

Certainly, the greatest surprise of the Sotheby's: Prints and Multiples was the Roy Lichtenstein's Art of the Sixties lot number 307 which was sold for $20000. Maybe it doesn't sounds so fascinating having in mind that we have seen some sales measured in 6-digits, but this particular lot had the hammer high estimate difference of 1011.1 percent! With the low estimate of $1200 and high estimate of $1800, it really came out as a bit of a surprise. Another notable sale was seen in the case of the lot 252 and Andy Warhol's Grace Kelly which was sold for $65000 and achieved 160 percent over the high estimate of $25000. Two more Andy Warhol's artworks achieved notable results: Fiesta Pig (estimated from $6000 to $8000) was sold for $20000 and achieved the hammer high estimate difference of 150 percent, while his Love, estimated from $20000 to $30000, changed the owner for $62000 and surpassed the high estimate by 106.7 percent. Frank Stella's Double Grey Scramble went for stunning $90000 , and since its high estimate was set at $35000, it achieved the hammer high difference of 157.1 percent. Another notable result with 5-digit price was seen in the sale of lot 294, Helen Frankethaler's Tales of Genji VI. It was sold for $42000 surpassing the high estimate by 133.3 percent. A 100 percent hammer high estimate difference was seen in the sale of Robert Longo's Eric, and while it was estimated between $10000 and $15000, it was sold for $30000.

Highs and Lows of Sotheby's: Prints And Multiples

As afore mentioned, some of the best results were achieved with the sales of Andy Warhol's artworks, both in the price level and scoring prices above the high estimates. Apart from these artworks, very good result was seen in the sale of Roy Lichtstein's Reflections on Crash, sold for $140000, only $10000 less than the high estimate. Richard Diebenkorn's High Green Version I was sold for $130000, but under the range of estimate from $140000-$180000. Claes Oldenburg's Profile Airflow, estimated from $60000-$80000, went for $115000 and surpassed the high estimate for 43.8 percent. High prices have been seen with the sales of yet another two Warhol's artworks: Superman and Queen Elizabeth, which both changed their owners for $110000. Although, our auction analysis shows that this auction was a big success, some of the lots failed to meet the expectations. Both Takashi Murakami's lots, containg four artworks each, were sold under the low estimate. Lot 212, estimated from $6000-8000 was sold for $3500, achieving a price that is 41.7 percent lower than the low estimate, while his lot 213 was sold for $2400 (estimated between $5000-$7000), with even a worse percentage under the low estimate of 52 percent. Robert Rauschenberg's Traces Suspectes en Surface, with a low estimate of $5000 was sold for only $3000. James by Chuck Close, although estimated from $12000-$18000 was sold for only $7000, achieving a price 41.7 percent under the low estimate. Ulfert Wilke's Fragments From Nowhere was sold at the hammer price of $2000, a 60 percent under the low hammer price. To see all of the artworks mentioned, as well as the tables containing all the lots' information, please scroll down.

Sotheby's: Prints and Multiples in Details

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sothebys new york prints and multiples, auction analysis
Left: Roy Lichtenstein - Art of the Sixties, 1979, (lot 307) / Right: Robert Rauschenberg - Traces Suspectes En Surface, 1972-78, (lot 222)

sothebys new york prints and multiples, auction analysis
Left: Andy Warhol - Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, 1985, (lot 259) / Right: Andy Warhol - Ten Portraits of Jews of The Twentieth Century, 1980, (lot 248)

sothebys new york prints and multiples, auction analysis
Left: Andy Warhol - Grace Kelly, 1984, (lot 252) / Right: Andy Warhol - Love, 1983, (lot 355)

sothebys new york prints and multiples, auction analysis
Left: Andy Warhol - Superman, 1981, (lot 266) / Right: Ulfert Wilke - Fragments From Nowhere, 1958, (lot 273)

sothebys new york prints and multiples, auction analysis
Left: Richard Diebenkorn - High Green Version, 1992, (lot 159) / Right: Robert Longo - Eric, 1999, (lot 202)

sothebys new york prints and multiples, auction analysis
Left: Helen Frankenthaler - Tales of Genji VI, 1998, (lot 295) / Right: Chuck Close - James, 2004, (lot 255)

sothebys new york prints and multiples, auction analysis
Left: Takashi Murakami - An Homage to Monogold, 2012, (lot 212) / Right: Takashi Murakami - Acupunture-Flowers, 2008, (lot 213)

Featured images:
Roy Lichtenstein - Reflections on Crash, 1990, (lot 309)
Frank Stella - Doubble Grey Scramble, 1973, (lot 278)
Claes Oldenburg - Profile Airflow, 1968-70, (lot 285)

Slider images:
Andy Warhol - Fiesta Pig, 1979, (lot 340)
Roy Lichtenstein - Crying Girl, 1963, (lot 188)
Damien Hirst - The Last Supper, 1999, (lot 167)

All images are courtesy of Sotheby's.

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